TV

Why Hannah Brown Was the Best Bachelorette Yet

Lessons from a thorny, final rose.

When we first met Hannah Brown, she packaged herself as "Alabama Hannah" proudly shouting, "Roll Tide!"

She immediately made an impression, establishing a policy of honesty on night one with season 23 Bachelor, Colton Underwood. Hannah was granted the first one-on-one date of the season and definitely made a splash, if perhaps an awkward one, when Colton asked the former Miss America contender to make a toast and she could barely form a coherent sentence.

Is Colton Regretting His First One-On-One Date With Hannah B? | The Bachelor US www.youtube.com

That evening, Hannah divulged in her Talking Head segment that the date "did get back on track," a phrase that would come to haunt the future Bachelorette. During the evening portion of their date, Hannah and Colton connected through their shared value of virginity. She opened up to him, sharing that although she'd committed to remain a virgin until marriage, she'd broken that promise to herself. Hannah explained that she didn't "feel perfect" because she "couldn't give that [her virginity] to somebody." The intimate moment foreshadowed all the sources of insecurity Hannah would have to grapple with and overcome on her season of The Bachelorette.

When Hannah first got her start on The Bachelor, she stirred drama in the house with former Miss North Carolina, Caelynn Miller Keyes, and unveiled her alter ego: the rambunctious, silly, and odd Hannah BEAST. The Bachelor didn't set her up as a candidate to be the next Bachelorette with that unflattering edit. Typically, a wild child, drama-stirring, 23-year-old would not be chosen to lead the show. Or, at least, it seemed that way until she didn't receive a rose on her second one-on-one and was sent home. In her exit, Hannah spoke to the camera about how she deserved to "be loved fiercely" and chosen every day. The stirring speech resonated with women across the nation, serving up a perfect and genuine pick for the next Bachelorette. Then, on the Women Tell All episode, Chris Harrison offered her the opportunity to redo her awful toast. Hannah graciously spoke, saying, "Cheers to this beautiful day together, new experiences, and continuing to being honest, real every moment we have together, and Roll Tide."

Fast forward to Hannah's turn as the Bachelorette, where she sent men packing for—to put it bluntly—their disingenuous b*llsh*t. It became clear Hannah valued honesty above all, so when Jed Wyatt—an obvious frontrunner on her season—disclosed that he initially went on the show to promote his music, she thanked him for his honesty. Unfortunately, two weeks after their one-on-one aired, People Magazine broke the story that Wyatt's intentions were even less pure than Brown knew. His ex-girlfriend, Haley Stevens, told People that he never broke up with her. According to Stevens, Jed spent the night with her before he flew to LA, left her a love note, and called her once he got there, saying, "I love you, and I'll call you when I get back."

On the season finale Tuesday night, the show aired footage of the recently engaged Brown grilling her fiancé about the story. After they got engaged, Wyatt had told Brown he had been seeing someone before the show, but they had broken it off beforehand. In the course of the conversation, she questioned everything about their relationship and even brought up how much it bothered her that he told his friends that he "won" instead of that he was "engaged." Thankfully, Brown ultimately broke off the engagement. When she spoke with Chris Harrison on After the Final Rose segment, she told him,

"I have been in love with somebody in my past who lied to me, who cheated on me, and I tried to make it work. But I'm not that girl anymore, and that's been something I've been so proud of. So, no matter how much it hurts, I won't allow myself to be stuck in [something] for any longer than I should be. I deserve better."

Between Luke P. and Jed, Hannah's had a lot of experience and heartbreak to unpack, reflect on, and grow. To the dismay of many viewers, Luke P. cast a big shadow on Hannah's season of The Bachelorette. His lying, manipulative ways were easy to spot, distracting Hannah from Jed's less obvious deception. Throughout her season, the contestants would try to warn her about Luke's toxicity, but she'd ignore them in favor of the feeling of security he offered. On the Men Tell All she explained, "I was really insecure. I knew that no guy was actually there for me because they didn't know who the Bachelorette was going to be." Luke P. offered Hannah security because she could tell he was really there for her, regardless of his alarming behavior.

While Hannah had enough of Luke P.'s toxicity and sent him home, a sly cheater like Jed can be harder to spot. The two men forced Hannah to reconcile with who she is and what she deserves. Sadly, it wasn't until Luke P. gaslit her for potentially having sex with the remaining men that she realized she deserved better. Similarly, Hannah failed to acknowledge any of Jed's red flags or warning signs from her family, his family, and even from Jed himself (i.e. Jed bringing his guitar everywhere, including his proposal. Ew.). Jed felt like the right man to "settle down" with, so Hannah ignored her misgivings for as long as she could. She needed to read and circle lines from the People Magazine article to finally realize the kind of person Jed is.

Unfortunately, Hannah Brown is like many women across the nation who were taught to believe they should feel lucky to have found someone who wants them. In her relationship with Tyler C., she never felt fully deserving of the love, support, and respect he had for her (on top of his great looks), so she rejected him. At the end of Colton's season, Hannah still felt the pressure to be perfect and the need for validation, all the while seeking a relationship. Luckily, at the end of her season, Hannah came to terms with her insecurities and concluded that she doesn't need a husband. This revelation may not be a shocking one, but it's a lesson that hopefully reached girls and women across the nation.

In the end, Hannah's season of The Bachelorette was the best yet because it culminated in a different kind of happy ending: Hannah, a single woman, realizing her full worth. She broke away from toxic relationships, promoted sex positivity, maintained her voice, and dismantled her own insecurities. The Bachelorette may still be single, but audiences got to watch her learn more about who she is and what she deserves, and that's much more valuable.

Satire

To Donald Trump: 5 Ways You're Actually a Flawless Being Doing a Beautiful, Unbelievable Job Right Now

You could resign if you want to, but then who will keep America so GD great?

With Donald Trump making a visit to Bangor, Maine today, the editorial board of the Portland Press Herald issued an op-ed calling for President Trump to resign.

The harshly critical piece entitled "To President Trump: You Should Resign Now" was framed as an open letter to the president and got straight to the point with this opening plea, "We're sorry that you decided to come to Maine, but since you are here, could you do us a favor? Resign."

In recent days even George W. Bush has been critical of President Trump's response to protests, so this new piece quickly became a trending topic on Twitter. Obviously this is another baseless attack from the lying news media—AKA lügenpresse. Considering how delicate our president's ego is—he's our special little guy—we can only hope that Donald Trump didn't see the letter; but just in case he did, it's worth writing another one to lift his spirits. So here's our best attempt—with lots of pictures and flattery to keep him reading:

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TV

The Sexist Double Standard on "The Bachelorette"

On The Bachelorette, it's a woman who bears the burden of other people's opinions about her choices and who's saddled with the repercussions. Why?

The main Bachelorettes effected.

ABC

Before Nick Viall became a Bachelor Nation staple, he was the guy who confronted his ex, Bachelorette Andi Dorfman, on national television.

"Knowing how in love with you I was, if you weren't in love with me, I'm just not sure why you made love with me," he said accusingly. Dorfman retorted that was "below the belt" and should "be kept private."

What Nick Viall divulged might have been met with pity if a woman had expressed it—because men take advantage of women all the time. But on The Bachelor, no woman has taken issue with the leading man being intimate with another woman. In contrast, time and time again, the men on The Bachelorette become possessive and force the female contestant to defend her actions, specifically her sexual decisions. It's clear that the Bachelor can have sex with his female suitors whenever he pleases and receive no backlash from the contestants or from Bachelor Nation.

Bachelorette Finale - Nick Confronts Andi About Sex Suite www.youtube.com

Meanwhile, Dorfman received a lot of flack for hurting Nick's feelings. Similarly, the following bachelorette, Kaitlyn Bristowe, also received backlash for having sex with Nick Viall before the "fantasy suites." It's an unspoken rule that the fantasy suites are where the final four contestants are free to do whatever they want during their first time away from the cameras. The production team typically stocks the suite with sweets, alcohol, and condoms for each pair's indulgence.

For Nick to have sex with Bristowe before the "fantasy suite" format seemed hypocritical. Here we had a man who implied that Dorfman was cruel to have sex with him because she did not end up committing to him. A year later, Nick even defended Kaitlyn's choice to have sex with him on the show, tweeting, "Sex is not shameful. Whether we want to admit it or not, sex is an important part of many serious and meaningful relationships." While Nick has since apologized, it's still important to acknowledge that he shamed Dorfman for her sexual expression in front of millions. Yet, it was Bristowe and Dorfman who received the brunt of the backlash, with people across the nation slut-shaming them, while Nick got away scot-free.

Last night, yet another Bachelorette had to address a man's issue with her sexual actions. While on her first one-on-one date in Latvia, Hannah and Garrett bungee jumped naked (as is Latvian tradition). The date was riveting, vulnerable, and fun. It was an experience for the couple and the viewers.

When Garrett came back from his date, he giddily recounted it to the other men, but resident villain Luke P. did not receive the news of the naked bungee jumping kindly. He told the camera that he didn't believe Hannah would do that, and if she did, it'd be a slap in the face to him.

On their group date, Hannah referred to her date with Garrett and confirmed what Garrett said. Reality finally hit Luke P., and he was pissed. During the evening portion of the date, he took Hannah aside to "clarify" what happened on her one-on-one with Garrett and express how he felt about it. He began by referring to her body as "a temple," then cited her nude bungee jumping as "a slap in the face"; he concluded by divulging that he's no longer "confident" that he wants her to meet his family now. When Hannah reacted poorly to this, he put his foot farther in his mouth by trying to win her back, claiming that he'll always stick by her whenever she makes "boneheaded mistakes."

'You Don't Own My Body': Hannah B Slams Luke P. Over Sexist Comments www.youtube.com

Still mulling over the alarming conversation with Luke, Hannah decided to sit down with him on the day of the cocktail party. She addressed her concerns, which included the language he used, calling her nude bungee jumping a "boneheaded mistake" and using his family against her. But, all that aside, Hannah informed Luke P. that at this point, he shouldn't even be concerned with what goes on in her other relationships because, "You're not my husband. You don't own my body. You don't own me. It's my body." Luke P. claimed that she completely misunderstood him. He told her that she might not be remembering everything correctly and that she was twisting his language. Luke P. backtracking in such a manipulative and outright dishonest fashion furthers the argument that he's not only a pathological liar, but downright emotionally abusive.

Their interaction seems to be only the beginning of what's to come. The Bachelorette has teased Hannah's iconic line, "I have had sex and Jesus still loves me!" for weeks now and recently revealed Luke P. is on the receiving end of the sentiment. It's obvious that the narrative around sex and religion will come to a head this season, which will hopefully put The Bachelor franchise's slut-shaming to bed. As much as the franchise supposedly tries to uplift their "independent" women, the Bachelorette constantly has to reassure the men, reassert her strength, and defend her actions: a phenomenon that will most likely persist, since it appears that many men still can't understand that a woman's body belongs only to her.

Recently, host Chris Harrison suggested that The Bachelor franchise has showcased the changing realities of dating. Alas, that's true. As much as The Bachelor franchise wants to keep up with the times, The Bachelorette still plays into damaging stereotypes about relationships, gender roles, and how some men on The Bachelorette react poorly to not controlling the female lead. Luke P. isn't the first contestant, nor will he be the last, to impose his expectations of what a woman should or should not do with her body. As such, The Bachelorette reinforces the double standard that a woman can't express the same bodily autonomy and decision-making as a man.